The holidays are a time of reflection and a chance to look back and give thanks for blessings--large and small--that keep us connected to loved ones and the world.
For millennials, that might mean giving thanks for the ability to snag that last-minute reservation when you forgot your parents were coming to town or avoid the cost of owning a car. It's no surprise that 87% of millennials say their smartphone never leaves their side.
Parents doing last minute holiday shopping with a fussy toddler are grateful for the seemingly magical effect of pulling up Dora the Explorer on YouTube. The next generation of 'mobile natives' is just one reason video will account for 75% of wireless traffic by 2019. And perhaps that moment of peace is why nearly four in five people would give up alcohol or chocolate to get a lost phone back.
And for families who can video chat their loved ones on their wireless device, being able to stay connected half a world away will bring everyone "home" for the holidays.
These kinds of "Mobile Moments"--celebrated in our sixth annual Mobile Future year end video--are becoming more and more integral to our daily lives. And, unlike Grandma Dot's fruitcake, mobile technology is a gift everyone wants to see keep giving.
With $32 billion invested in U.S. wireless networks last year, mobile network providers are doing their part. The same can be said of mobile entrepreneurs: We feel healthier with mobile apps that track our workouts--and help us stay true to our New Year's resolutions. And, when the weather outside turns frightful, the rapidly expanding Internet of Things makes it easy to keep our homes comfortable and energy efficient, fueling a forecast that by 2022 a typical U.S. home could contain more than 500 smart devices.
And, all of this vision and entrepreneurship is creating a whole new, self-starting path to economic opportunity, with $17 billion earned by app developers last year.
As we head into 2016, it will be critical that our nation's policymakers show as much love for mobile innovation as consumers do. With fast-growing demand for bandwidth, this requires an 'all of the above' approach--more spectrum, continued vigorous network investment and a steady torrent of innovation. From the engineers to the entrepreneurs, we can count on the mobile community to deliver. But we also need policy makers - clearly and consistently encouraging private-sector investment in mobile's progress, successful spectrum auctions and a strong ongoing pipeline of future wireless capacity that can stay one step ahead of the demands of consumers and the needs of our innovation economy.
So this holiday season, let's take a moment to thank that mobile map app for getting us over the river and through the traffic to Grandma's house. After all, thanks to the vision of our nation's mobile innovators, the future has never looked brighter.